I am a historian holding a position as an associate senior lecturer at Malmö University.
My general research interest has to do with the politics of representation, which I explore in relation to how actors and users of history have been – and can be – engaged in explorations of history and in history-writing. My research concerns oral history and public history, transnationalism, racism and its counter-movements, the social movements of the 1960s, urban justice and youth work.
I am currently working in two projects:
Scandiva as an arena for the Black Panther Party
In 1969, leading members of the Black Panther Party (BPP) travelled through Scandinavia. BPP Solidarity Committees were set up in Copenhagen and Stockholm, and activities in support of the BPP took place in the Scandinavian capitals and at universities. The interest in the BPP was high in Scandinavia around 1970, producing both translations of key texts from that move-ment, and journalistic accounts. Leading cultural institutions – e.g. Moderna museet and the Stockholm City Museum – invited delegations from the BPP. The Scandinavian countries also functioned as refuges for Panthers that needed to go into exile. For example, African American war deserters started a local chapter of the BPP in Malmö.
This project uses oral history and archival studies to find out what the BPP did in Scandinavia, and what was done in solidarity with the BPP. Itself influenced by anti-colonial struggles worldwide, the BPP became an actor on the global arena. Finding out why the BPP already before that oriented themselves towards the Scandinavian countries, and how these contacts shaped the BPP and its travelling members, could reveal as much about that movement’s stra-tegic reasoning and ideological development as it could about the transnational dimension of the Scandinavian 1968. The available scholarship on 1968 in Scandinavia downplays the agency of actors in other parts of the world that might have been interested in contacts within Scan-dinavia for their own reasons, and also might have put the Scandinavian actors in motion in the first place. That the Scandinavian countries had a function within the global network of the BPP suggests that the Scandinavian 1968 could be re-told in a way that stresses the fluxes of people, ideas, and repertoires of contestation.
Within these fluxes, African American experiences of being exposed to and taking action against racism had to be communicated, explained and possibly translated in order to make sense across social differences and national borders. By analyzing these communications, this project can contribute with new insights into the problem of how to understand racism and ‘race’ as historiographical categories. The project is thus influenced by previous scholarhsip which show that the BPP’s intellectual articulations of the intersections of class and race are important to study in order to better understand the simultaneous rise of superdiversity and re-surgence of racism in contemporary society.
Malmö Life Stories
Malmö Life Stories is a co-created research initiating, and potentially socially mobilizing, process created by Malmö-based civil society actors, museum practitioners, stage producers, and scholars. Malmö Life Stories thus engages actors from different social positions in a process that is multiprofessional, interdisciplinary and translocal. The participants in Malmö Life Stories are brought together by a concern about how Malmö is depicted as a scary city in public discourses, and about how this situation adds to the social vulnerability that the greater part of Malmö’s inhabitants is affected by. Another commonality is a faith in sharing life stories as a means to engage the city’s inhabitants in the making of its future. The Malmö Life Stories is set up as a learning space in which epistemologies connected to life story-practices from activism, stage production, and research in different disciplines enlighten and inform each other. The group has made it its goal to care for each other’s stories, offering shelter in a sometimes hostile present, and through that create knowledge about urban change and urban life that is requested by organized Malmöites.